The next stop on our virtual trip along the Coastal Wine Trail is another Connecticut charmer.
The pale straw color of the 2014 Sheer Chardonnay sparkled beautifully in the natural light steaming in through the skylights and sliding glass barn doors. Beyond the windows the crimson reds and cheerful yellows of the fall leaves gently twirled in the breeze. It was midafternoon and we had the entire vineyard to ourselves. Admiring the local paintings displayed along the wall of the tasting room, we sipped our crisp, un-oaked Chardonnay. Completed in 2014, the bright, high-ceilinged tasting room gazes out onto the slate patio, seating, and lawn.
Stonington Vineyards was established in 1987 making it one of Connecticut’s oldest vineyards. This secluded farm consists of 58 acres just inland from Long Island Sound and the Atlantic, in a microclimate much like Bordeaux’s. Their vineyard consists of a little over 6 acres of Chardonnay and 3 and half acres of Cabernet Franc, all pruned and harvested by hand.
Over the award-winning Seaport White, a fruity and slightly sweet blend, we struck up a friendship with our server. Ebbie was a delightfully bubbly woman and bursting with knowledge of the winery and the area. Next to my wine notes I listed a number of restaurants and boutiques to visit based on her recommendation. Including a French bakery in downtown Mystic named SIFT owned and operated by her husband and Pastry Chef, Adam.
We finished our 2013 Cabernet Franc while walking up and down the rows of vines from which the grapes came.
The medium-bodied, slightly fruity yet peppery flavors of the Cabernet Franc make it an easy pairing wine and a favorite with Stonington’s loyalists. Great as a single-varietal this french grape is also a favorite for blending. As the sun began to set we left the tranquil little vineyard behind in search of a certain French bakery. We were not disappointed.
Stonington Vineyards is open 7 days a week and is happy to accommodate large groups and private events. If you are in the area in September be sure to visit them for the Harvest Food & Wine Festival. The weekend overflows with artisans, food trucks, bands, and of course wine. Find more about the vineyard at Stonington Vineyards website.